It was a difficult summer for Jay Spearing, but as autumn leaves start to tumble he is ready to rumble after finally putting pen to paper at Blackpool.
It has been no secret that Spearing, who was released by Championship club Bolton Wanderers after helping them secure promotion from League One, has been training at Bloomfield Road for the past two weeks.
Pool boss Gary Bowyer has not hidden his desire to make the trial period a permanent one and now the club has struck a deal with the 28-year-old, keeping him at Bloomfield Road until the end of the season.
Spearing, who made 173 appearances over four years at Bolton after coming through the ranks at Liverpool, was full of praise for Bowyer, with whom he previously worked during a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers in 2015.
The Merseysider has spent his first summer without a club, but despite having no full pre-season under his belt Spearing says he is sharp thanks to Bowyer’s kind offer of training.
And he now hopes to repay the boss’ faith on the pitch. Spearing said: “It is brilliant to sign. It has been a long summer, a hard summer, but I’ve had to keep grafting away.
“Thankfully I got a call from Gary, who called me in. I’ve been here for two weeks training, and thankfully I’ve got a deal sorted and now I can kick on.
“I’ve been speaking to the manager throughout the summer and he’s given me the confidence to come in and train, as well as the time to try to get fit, get sharp and get ready.
“I’ve got the Blackburn connection with him. We get on really well and thankfully he has been able to push a deal through.
“It has been very different, something I have not been used to. I’ve learned things, grown up a lot and learned which way to go. Thankfully at the end it has finally turned out right.”
Bowyer says Spearing’s higher league experience will be invaluable as Pool sit ninth after 11 games on their return to the third tier.
There is no Ewood Park return for either this weekend after Rovers’ international call-ups saw the scheduled League One clash rearranged for next month.
Bowyer said: “It’s no secret Jay has been training with us for a few weeks and I’m delighted we’ve been able to get a deal done.
“He’s someone I know well from my days at Blackburn and he will be a great addition for us. He’s played in the Premier League, Championship and had success in this division with Bolton last season.
“That experience and quality will prove invaluable to our squad.”
Defender Adam Henley is still on trial with the club after his release by Blackburn this summer.
The Gazette understands Bowyer is still keen to agree a deal with the 23-year-old full-back.